It’s not quite as easy as ABC…

With a relatively quiet period following the commencement of the UK Bribery Act, 2015 saw ABC compliance put firmly back on the map.  In late November 2015, the first UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) was approved. With the UK set to host world leaders at an Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016, the appetite to tackle bribery and corruption appears to be greater than ever, so firms should expect their ABC controls to remain in the focus of regulators and law enforcement.

Firms could be liable under the Bribery Act 2010 if either; a senior person in the organisation commits a bribery offence and/or someone who performs services for the firm pays a bribe specifically to get business, keep business, or gain a business advantage for the firm. Therefore, it is not sufficient enough for a firm to simply have adequate procedures. The challenge is to embed the policies and procedures across the organisation, including overseas subsidiaries, branches and affiliates, to enable compliance with the Bribery Act.

Under the Act, a firm is responsible for third parties who act on its behalf – therefore, due diligence (which could even resemble an audit) is required for third party relationships.

An ABC risk assessment exercise is the cornerstone in understanding a firm’s exposure to bribery and corruption risks. As those risks continuously evolve due to both changes to firms’ operating environments and internal changes such as entry into new markets or new product launches, risk assessments must be kept up-to-date.

How we can help

Whether you are regulated or not, we can help you take steps to manage your bribery and corruption risks and protect yourself from the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery. Bovill can:

  • Review policies and procedures and conduct a gap analysis
  • Design and implement appropriate controls, including policies and procedures
  • Provide training to staff and third parties on the bribery and corruption legislation (including the extra-territorial effects of non-UK legislation)
  • Create a framework or model for your ABC risk assessment
  • Help you execute your ABC risk assessment and
  • Support you in embedding a strong tone from the top to drive a compliant culture throughout the firm.
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